The Multidimensional Nature of Individuals’ Adaptation Strategies in the Changing Life Circumstances. Analysis Based on Research of Polish Immigrants in Scotland

Author: Tomasz Leszniewski
Institution: Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Year of publication: 2022
Source: Show
Pages: 94-113
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/138/kie13806.pdf

This text is an attempt to reconstruct how emigrants from Poland adapted to the living conditions in Scottish society after Poland acceded to the European Union. Using the functional perspective, four potential forms of migrant adaptation were defined according to their relations with the social system of the host country. Assimilation, integration, marginalisation, and isolation were distinguished as four essential types occurring with different intensities and frequencies. The adaptation of migrants to new living conditions was analysed using these forms concerning the following three critical dimensions of human existence: the material, the cultural, and the social. It makes it possible to show the diversity of the adaptation strategies according to gender and the problem of working in jobs below one’s skill level. On the other hand, the analysis of the cultural and social dimensions made it possible to identify issues related to the accumulation of family social capital and difficulties in transferring cultural capital between the two countries. The survey also showed that Polish migrants have a high integration potential. However, situations where unfavourable or negative experiences of migrants intensify, may constitute a fundamental basis for developing an adaptation strategy that will result in the marginalisation of this group.


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identity social capital cultural capital adaptation economic emigration incomplete integration

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